Digital Image Synthesis, Fall 2015

Milestones of computer animation*

1982 Tron The first movie that mixes CGI and live actors.
1986 Luxo Jr. The first film by Pixar.
1993 Jurassic Park The first movie to feature realistic acting CGI.
1995 Toy Story The first full-length 3D animation movie.
1997 Geri's game features the use of subdivision surfaces.
1999 Star Wars I has the first full-featured CGI character for the entire movie.
2001 Final Fantasy The first full-length animation to attempt realistic people.
2001 Shrek The first winner of Oscar best animated movie.
2002 Bunny The first animation film to use radiosity.
2002 LOTR 2 has the first realistic acting CGI character for the entire movie.
* This list is solely based on my personal view.

Course overview

Photorealistic rendering, synthesizing realistic images which are indistinguishable from real photographs, has long been a holy grail for computer graphics. Although global shading models, such as ray tracing, have been developed for quite a while, animation industry basically still used local shading models. However, owe to recent developments of ray tracing, many animation studios started to re-architect their own renderers using ray tracing. Such renderers have been used for the production of many animations and effects films, such as "Monsters University" and "The Hobbit". This course will cover the fundamentals of the ray tracing algorithm behind these renderers based on PBRT, a book and a ray tracer that is designed for education purpose and won an Oscar Sci-Tech award in 2014.

Meeting time: 2:20pm-5:10pm every Thursday
Classroom: CSIE Room 101
Instructor: Yung-Yu Chuang
Teaching assistant: Yu-Sheng Chen
Office hour: 5:30-6:30pm Friday Room 527
TA Office hours:
1:10-1:40pm Thursday Room 505
1:40-2:10pm Thursday Room 101

Mailing list: Subscribe via this website.
Reference books: We will basically follow the book, Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation.
Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation, Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys, 2nd ed, Morgan Kaufmann, 2010
In addition, we will use readings from books, journals and proceedings.
Principles of Digital Image Synthesis, Andrew Galssner, Morgan Kaufmann.
An Introduction to Ray Tracing, Andrew Galssner, Morgan Kaufmann.
Radiosity and Realistic Image Synthesis, Michael Cohen and John Wallace, Academic Press.
Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping, Henrik Wann Jensen, AK Peters.
Advanced Global Illumination, Philip Dutre, Kavita Bala and Phillips Bekaert, AK Peters.
Realistic Ray Tracing, Peter Shirley and Keith Morley, AK Peters.
GPU Gems, Randima Fernando, Addison Wesley.
GPU Gems II, Matt Pharr and Randima Fernando, Addison Wesley.

Grading: (subject to change)
  • programming assignments X 3 (60%)
  • class participation (5%)
  • final project (35%)

Syllabus (topics we might cover):
  • Geometry, transforms and shapes
  • Color and radiometry
  • Ray tracing: basic algorithm
  • Ray tracing: acceleration
  • Cameras
  • Sampling and reconstruction
  • Lights
  • Materials: BRDF
  • Materials: texture
  • Volume
  • Light transport and the rendering equation
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Photon mapping